Council voted 15 to 3 approving the new radio system. The system is anticipated to be initiated and operational within 18-months.
UPDATE -- 6:40 pm July 20th, 2011
Council's Joint Safety and Finance Committee concluded testimony regarding the Administration's proposed new county-wide radio system. A major issue discussed was why the Administration has not considered utilizing the Ohio MARCS P25 system being planned for implementation in Cuyahoga County on September 1, 2011.
Initially the Administration claimed there were technical issues pertaining to 1) interference on the MARCS system's 700 MHz syestem coming from Canada as well as 2) system capacity issues, i.e., the MARCS system for Cuyahoga County was described as being limited to only 15-channels.
After several conversations with Ohio MARCS staff, Council confirmed that in fact the interference issue is set to be eliminated as of August 1st and that the MARCS Cuyahoga system is designed to initially run with 15-channels but can also be upgraded to 30 channels when needed.
The comparison of potential systems therefore breaks down to approximately:
- Administration's proposed system - $32 million; 30-channel county-wide system, plus utilization of an 11-channel P25 system run by the Southwest Regional Communications Network.
- Potential City of Cleveland/Ohio MARCS Cuyahoga system - $26 million; 30-channel city-wide system, plus utilization of an 15-channel (expandable to 30[channels) P25 system run by Ohio MARCS Cuyahoga.
The City has $11 million in bonding accrued to-date for the $32-million dollar system. With continuing lower revenues and increasing costs of utilities and services, a potential $6 million in savings should warrant more time and deliberations.
Cleveland City Council's Public Safety Committee met yesterday to review proposed legislation for a $32 million city-wide 800 MHz radio system. The system would replace one purchased in 1993 that serves over 5,000 radio users across departments and divisions that include Public Safety, Public Works, Public Utilities, City Courts, Building & Housing, Port Control and more.
The new system would utilize up-to-date standards and comply with The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Project 25, which is an open source system developed to address emergency communications systems in the United States. Motorola is being proposed to be awarded the contract.
Presently there are 47 different types of radio systems currently being used in Cuyahoga County, due to the different set of frequency bands used by the various public safety agencies. The new system would include the use of 14 radio towers up from the current 8 the City of Cleveland uses today, which would expand the city's radio coverage area.